News Bytes: Microbursts, GU’s Selective Admissions, GWU Lawsuit

Microbursts Hit Washington 

A series of microbursts hit D.C. late last month, causing extensive damage around the city. A microburst occurs when a thunderstorm’s updraft collapses, sending air rushing down to the ground and creating high winds. The storms that hit Georgetown and surrounding neighborhoods July 29 toppled centuries old trees, smashed windows, and crushed cars. Oak Hill Cemetery and Glen Echo were particularly hard hit.   

D.C. Council Passes Emergency Bill to Address City’s Violent Crime 

Three emergency public safety bills were passed almost unanimously July 11. They’ll be effective immediately for 90 days once signed by Mayor Bowser. The bills are: the Prioritizing Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2023, the Law Enforcement Vehicular Pursuit Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2023 and the Office of Unified Communications Transparency and Accuracy Emergency Amendment Act of 2023. The bills address gaps in the city’s legal system and public safety apparatus by promoting accountability for offenders, supporting victims, ensuring police have the tools they need to keep communities safe and improving accountability and transparency at the city’s 911 call center, according to Ward 2 Councilwoman Brooke Pinto.  

Very Wealthy Students Nearly Three Times as Likely to Get into Georgetown 

Children from extremely wealthy families are 2.9 times more likely to be accepted into Georgetown University, according to a new study from a group of Harvard economists. The professors (who study inequality) also found that children from wealthier families are more likely to apply to Georgetown University. Their chance is up to 2.4 times more likely for one-percent families, a higher rate than any of the additional schools mentioned in the study. The schools included the eight Ivy League institutions, as well as Stanford, Duke, M.I.T., the University of Chicago and 12 private colleges, including Georgetown.  

Georgetown University. Georgetowner photo.

Court Battle Over Former GWU Building 

Aston Hall, sold by George Washington University in July 2022, is the subject of a recent court battle. The hall was sold to the D.C. government for $27.5 million. The city is planning on converting the building into a shelter for unhoused people with medical issues. The GW Hatchet, the school’s student newspaper, reported that a group with property interests in their neighborhood filed a lawsuit in the District Superior Court to block or delay the sale. GWU is defending their sale of the building so it can become a homeless shelter.  

Alarm at Venezuelan Embassy Trips Secret Service Response 

An alarm at the shuttered Embassy of Venezuela at 1099 30th St. NW closed the street the morning of Aug. 9 and had nearby buildings – including The Georgetowner’s offices – on lockdown. Secret Service later reported that “at approximately 9:30 a.m., the Secret Service Uniformed Division responded to reports of an alarm at the Venezuelan Embassy building near 30th and M Streets NW. Officers swept the building and have declared it safe.”  

Neighbors Hit a Brick Wall over Real Estate Listing 

If you’ve been keeping up with local real estate, chances are you’ve seen stories about “the wall,” a one-foot-by-24-foot brick wall currently for sale in Georgetown on Redfin for $50,000. Owner Allan Berger thinks it could be a great place for some street art. Unfortunately, the Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission has deemed the structure unsafe. Read our in-depth story on this issue here.






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